MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE | The Great Conspiracy.

 
Murder in the Kremlin

CHAPTER XVIII from The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia
None of the incidents or dialogue in The Great Conspiracy has been invented by the authors. The material has been drawn from various documentary sources which are indicated in the text or listed in the Bibliographical Notes.


l. Yagoda

IN May 1934, six months before the assassination of Sergei Kirov, a heart attack caused the death of Vyacheslav R. Menzhinsky, the long-ailing Chairman of the OGPU. His post was filled by the forty-three-year-old OGPU Vice-Chairman, Henry G. Yagoda, a short, quiet, efficient-looking man with a receding chin and a trim little mustache.

Henry Yagoda was a secret member of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. He had joined the conspiracy in 1929, as a member of the Right Opposition, not because he believed in Bukharin's or Trotsky's program, but because he thought the oppositionists were destined to come to power in Russia. Yagoda wanted to be on the winning side. In his own words: -

I followed the course of the struggle with great attention, having made up my mind beforehand that I would join the side which emerged victorious from this struggle.... When measures of repression began to be taken against the Trotskyites, the question as to who would come out the victor - the Trotskyites or the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - was as yet not finally settled. In any event, that was what I thought. Therefore I, as Assistant Chairman of the OGPU, in carrying out the punitive policy, did it in such a way that it would not arouse the anger of the Trotskyites against me. When I was sending Trotskyites into exile, I created for them such conditions in their places of exile as enabled them to carry on their activity.

Yagoda's role in the conspiracy was at first known only to the three top leaders of the Rights: Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky. In 1932, when the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites was formed, Yagoda's role became known to Pyatakov and Krestinsky.

As Vice-Chairman of the OGPU, Yagoda was able to protect the conspirators from exposure and arrest. "I took all measures, in the course of a number of years," he later stated, "to guard the organization, particularly its center, against exposure." Pagoda appointed members of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites as special agents in the OGPU. In this way, a number of agents of foreign Intelligence Services were ere able to penetrate the Soviet secret police and, under Yagoda's protection, carry on espionage activities for their respective governments. The German agents, Pauker and Volovich, whom Yagoda sent to effect the arrest of Zinoviev and Kamenev were appointed to their OGPU positions by Pagoda himself. "I considered them," Pagoda said later, referring to the foreign spies, "as a valuable force. in the realization of the conspiratorial plans, particularly along the lines of maintaining connections with foreign Intelligence Services."

In 1933, Ivan Smirnov, the leading organizer of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, was unexpectedly arrested by Soviet Government agents. Yagoda could not prevent the arrest. On pretext of examining the prisoner, Yagoda visited Smirnov in his cell and "coached him" on how to behave under questioning.

In 1934, before the murder of Kirov, the terrorist Leonid Nikolayev was picked up by OGPU agents in Leningrad. In his possession they found a gun. and a chart showing the route which Kirov traveled daily. When Yagoda was notified of Nikolayev's arrest, he instructed Zaporozhetz, assistant chief of the Leningrad OGPU, to release the terrorist without further examination. Zaporozhetz was one of Yagoda's men. He did what he was told.

A few weeks later, Nikolayev murdered Kirov.

But the Murder of Kirov was only one of a number of murders carried out by the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites with the direct aid of Henry Yagoda....

Behind his quiet, efficient exterior, Yagoda concealed an inordinate ambition, ferocity and cunning. With the secret operations of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites depending more and more on his protection, the Vice-Chairman of the OGPU began to conceive of himself as the central figure and dominating personality of the entire conspiracy. Yagoda had dreams of becoming Russia's Hitler. He read Mein Kampf. "It is a worthwhile book," he confided to his devoted henchman and secretary, Pavel Bulanov. He was particularly impressed, he told Bulanov, by the fact that Hitler had "risen from a top sergeant to be the man he is." Yagoda himself had started his career as a top sergeant in the Russian Army.

Yagoda had his own ideas about the kind of government whichwould be set up after Stalin was overthrown. It would be modeled on that of Nazi Germany, he told Bulanov. Yagoda himself would be the Leader; Rykov would replace Stalin as secretary of a reorganized Party; Tomsky would be chief of the trade-unions, which would come under strict military control like the Nazi labor battalions; the "philosopher" Bukharin, as Yagoda put it, would be "Dr. Goebbels."

As for Trotsky, Yagoda was not sure if he would permit Trotsky to return to Russia. It would depend on circumstances. Meanwhile, however, Yagoda was prepared to make use of Trotsky's negotiations with Germany and Japan. The coup d'état, said Yagoda, must be timed to coincide with the outbreak of war against the Soviet Union.

"All means will be required for the achievement of this coup-, armed action, provocation and even poisons," Yagoda told Bulanov. "There are times when one must act slowly and extremely cautiously, and there are times when one must act quickly and suddenly."

The decision of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites to adopt terrorism as a political weapon against the Soviet regime had Yagoda's endorsement. The decision was communicated to him by Y. S. Yenukidze, a former soldier and official of the Kremlin secretariat, who was the chief organizer of terrorism for the Rights. Yagoda had only one objection. The terrorist methods employed by the conspirators seemed to him too primitive and dangerous. Yagoda set out to devise a more subtle means of political murder than the traditional assassin's bombs, knives or bullets.

At first, Yagoda experimented with poisons. He set up a secret laboratory and put several chemists to work. His aim was to contrive a method of killing which made exposure impossible. "Murder with a guarantee," was the way Yagoda put it.

But even poisons were too crude. Before long, Yagoda developed his own special technique of murder. He recommended it as a perfect weapon to the leaders of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. "It is very simple," said Yagoda. "A person naturally falls ill, or he has been ill for some time. Those who surround him become accustomed, as is also natural, to the idea that the patient will either die or recuperate. The physician who treats the patient has the will to facilitate the patient's recovery or his death.... Well? All the rest is a matter of technique." One had only to find the right physicians.

2. The Murder of Menzhinsky

The first physician Yagoda involved in his unique murder scheme was Dr. Leo Levin, a corpulent, middle-aged, obsequious man, who liked to boast of his disinterest in political affairs. Dr. Levin was Yagoda's own physician. More important to Yagoda was the fact that Dr. Levin was a prominent member of the Kremlin Medical Staff. Among his regular patients were a number of prominent Soviet leaders, including Yagoda's superior, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, the Chairman of the OGPU.

Yagoda began showering special favors on Dr. Levin. He sent him imported wines, flowers for his wife and various other gifts. He placed a country home, free of charge, at the doctor's disposal. When Dr. Levin traveled abroad, Yagoda permitted him to bring back foreign purchases without paying the regular customs duty. The physician was flattered and a bit puzzled at these unusual attentions from his influential patient.

Soon, under Yagoda's manipulations, the unsuspecting Dr. Levin had accepted what amounted to a number of bribes and had committed some minor infractions of Soviet laws. Then Yagoda came bluntly to the point. He told Dr. Levin that a secret opposition movement, of which he himself was one of the leaders, was about to come to power in the Soviet Union. The conspirators, said Yagoda, could make good use of Dr. Levin's services. Certain Soviet leaders, among theta some of Dr. Levin's patients, had to be put out of the way.

"Have in mind," Yagoda told the terrified doctor, "that you cannot help obeying me, you cannot get away from me. Once I place confidence in you with regard to this thing, you must appreciate this and you must carry this out. You cannot tell anybody about it. Nobody will believe you. They will believe not you, but me." Yagoda added: "Let us now drop this conversation; you think it over at home, and I shall call you in a few days."

Dr. Levin subsequently described his reaction to Yagoda's words. He stated: -

I do not have to convey the psychological reaction, how terrible it was for me to hear this. I think that this is sufficiently understood. And then the ceaseless mental anguish. ... He further said: "You are aware who is talking to you, the head of what institution is talking to you!"... He reiterated that my refusal to carry this out would spell ruin for me and my family. I figured that I had no other way out, that I had to submit to him.

Dr. Levin helped Yagoda to enlist the services of another physician who also frequently treated Menzhinsky. This physician was Dr. Ignaty N. Kazakov, whose distinctly unorthodox therapeutic methods were the cause of some heated controversy in Soviet medical circles during the early 1930's.

Dr. Kazakov claimed to have discovered an almost infallible cure for a wide range of illnesses by means of a special technique which he called "lysatotherapy." The OGPU Chairman Menzhinsky who suffered from angina pectoris and bronchial asthma had great faith in Kazakov's treatments and took them regularly.(1)

On Yagoda's instructions, Dr. Levin went to see Dr. Kazakov. Dr. Levin said to him: "Menzhinsky is a living corpse. You're really wasting your time."

Dr. Kazakov looked at his colleague in astonishment.

"I'll have to have a special talk with you," said Dr. Levin. "About what?" asked Dr. Kazakov.

"About Menzhinsky's health.".. ,

Later, Dr. Levin came to the point. "I thought you were cleverer. You still haven't understood me," he told Kazakov. "I'm surprised you've undertaken Menzhinsky's treatment with so much zeal and you have ever improved his health. You should never have allowed him to get back to work."

Then, to Dr. Kasakov's mounting amazement and horror, Dr. Levin went on: -

"You must realize that Menzhinsky is actually a corpse, and, by restoring his health, by allowing him to get back to work, You are antagonizing Yagoda. Menzhinsky is in Yagoda's way and Yagoda is interested in getting him out of the way as soon as possible. Yagoda is a man who doesn't stop at anything."

Dr. Levin added: -

"Not a word of this to Menzhinsky! I am warning you that, if you tell Menzhinsky about it, Yagoda will destroy you. You'll not escape him no matter where you hide yourself. He would get you even if you were underground."

On the afternoon of November 6, 1933, Dr. Kazakov received an urgent call from Menzhinsky's home. When Dr. Kazakov arrived at the home of the OGPU Chairman, he was met by a heavy, stifling odor of turpentine and paint. Within a few minutes he found himself gasping for breath. One of Menzhinsky's secretaries informed him that the house had been freshly painted and that "a special substance" had been added to the paint to "make the paint dry more quickly." It was this "special substance" which caused the pungent, overwhelming odor.

Dr. Kazakov went upstairs. He found Nlenzhinsky in great agony. His bronchial condition had been terribly aggravated by the fumes. He was sitting in a cramped, awkward position, his face and body swollen, barely able to whisper. Dr. Kazakov listened to his breathing. It was labored and rasping, with greatly prolonged exhalation, characteristic of a serious attack of bronchial asthma. Dr. Kazakov immediately gave Menzhinsky an injection to relieve his condition. He then flung open all the windows in the room and ordered Menzhinskv's secretary to open all doors and windows throughout the house. Gradually the odor died away. Dr. Kazakov stayed with Menzhinsky until his patient was feeling better. When the attack had passed, Dr. Kazakov went home.

He had scarcely entered his house when the telephone rang. It was a call from OGPU headquarters. Dr. Kazakov was informed that Henry Yagoda wished to see him at once. A car was already on its way to pick up Dr. Kazakov and bring him to Yagoda's office....

"Well, how do you find Menzhinskv's health?" was the first thing Yagoda said when he and Dr. Kazakov were alone in his office. The short, neat, dark Vice-Chairman of the OGPU was sitting behind his desk, coldly watching Dr. Kazakov's expression.

Dr. Kazakov replied that with the sudden renewal of the asthmatic attacks, Menzhinskv's condition was serious.

Yagoda was silent for a moment.

"Have you spoken to Levin?"

"Yes, I have," replied Dr. Kazakov.

Yagoda abruptly rose from his seat and began pacing back and forth in front of his desk. Suddenly, he whirled on Dr. Kazakov, furiously exclaiming, "In that case, why are you fiddling about? Why don't you act? Who asked you to butt into somebody else's affairs?"

"What do you want of me?" asked Dr. Kazakov.

"Who asked you to give medical aid to Menzhinsky?" said Yagoda. "You're fussing with him to no purpose. His life is of no use to anybody. He's in everybody's way. I order you to work out with Levin a method of treatment whereby it will be possible to bring about a quick end to Menzhinsky's life!" After a pause, Yagoda added: "I warn you, Kazakov, if you make any attempt to disobey me I'll find means of getting rid of you! You'll never escape me...."

For Dr. Kazakov, the days that followed were full of terror, fear and nightmarish events. He went about his work in a daze. Should he or should he not report what he knew to the Soviet authorities? To whom could he speak? How could he be sure that he was not talking to one of Yagoda's spies?

Dr. Levin, who saw him frequently during this period, told Kazakov of the existence of a vast undercover conspiracy against the Soviet Government. Famous, powerful state officials like Yagoda, Rykov and Pyatakov were in the conspiracy; brilliant writers and philosophers like Karl Radek and Bukharin had joined it; men in the army were secretly behind it. If he, Dr. Kazakov, performed some, valuable service for Yagoda now, Yagoda would remember it when he came to power. There was a secret war going on within the Soviet Union, and doctors, like other people, had to choose sides....

Dr. Kazakov succumbed. He told Levin that he would carry out Yagoda's orders.

Here, in Dr. Kazakov's own words, is the technique he and Dr. Levin used for the assassination of the Chairman of the OGPU, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky -

I met Levin and together with him worked out a method which consisted of the following. We took advantage of two main properties of albumen and albumenous products. First: the products of the hydrolytic decomposition of albumen possess the property of stimulating the effect of medicines. Second: lysatcs increase the sensitivity of the organism. These two properties were taken advantage of. Thirdly, advantage was taken of the peculiarities of Menzhinsky's organism, of the combination of bronchial asthma and angina pectoris. It is a well-known fact that in a case of bronchial asthma the so-called parasympathetic section of the vegetative nervous system is excited. Therefore, in cases of bronchial asthma, substances are prescribed which excite the corresponding section, that is to say, the sympathetic the thyroid gland. Such a preparation is the extract of the suprarenal gland, a preparation of the medulla stratum. In case of angina pectoris it is just the sympathetic section which starts from the sub-jugular plexus of the sympathetic ganglion that is excited. That was the fine point which was taken advantage of....

Gradually, one set of preparations was introduced, while another was put aside.... It was necessary to introduce a number of heart stimulants - digitalis, adonis, atrophanthus - which stimulated the activity of the heart. These medicines were administered in the following order. First, lysates were administered; then there was an interval in the treatment with lystes: then heart stimulants were administered. As a result of this sort of treatment, a thorough weakening was brought about....

On the night of May 10, 1934, Menzhinsky died.

The man who took his place as chief of the OGPU was Henry Yagoda.

"I deny that in causing the death of Menzhinsky I was guided by motives of a personal nature," Yagoda later stated. "I aspired to the post of head of the OGPU, not out elf personal consideration, but in the interests of our conspiratorial organization."

3. Murder with a Guarantee

The murder list of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites included the following top Soviet leaders: Stalin, Voroshilov, Kirov, Menzhinsky, Molotov, Kuibyshev, Kaganovich, Gorky and Zhdanov. These men were well guarded. The Soviet Government had long, bitter experience in dealing with terrorists, and few chances were taken. Yagoda knew this very well. When the Right terrorist organizer, Yenukidze, communicated to him the decision of the Trotskyite-Zinovicvitc Terrorist Center to commit a public assassination of Sergei Kirov, Pagoda at first objected. As l Yagoda put it: -

I expressed my apprehension that a direct terrorist act might expose not only myself, but the whole organization as well. I pointed out to Yenukidze that there was a less dangerous method and I reminded him Yenukidze, how Menzhinsky's death was brought about with the help of physicians. Yenukidze replied that the assassination of Kirov must be carried out the way it was planned, that the Trotskyites and Zinovievites took it upon themselves to commit this murder, and that it was our business not to place any obstacles. As for the safe method of causing death with the help of physicians, Yenukidze said that in the near future the center would discuss the question as to who exactly of the leaders of the Party and Government should be the first to be done to death by this method.

One day, towards the end of August 1934, a young secret member of the Right Opposition was summoned to Yenukidze's Kremlin office. His name was Venyamin A. Maximov. In 1928, as a student, Maximov had attended the special "Marxist School" which Bukharin then headed in Moscow. Bukharin had recruited him into the conspiracy. A clever, unscrupulous youth, Maximov had been carefully trained by the Right leaders and, after his graduation, placed in various secretarial posts. At the time he was summoned to Yenukidze's office, Maximov was the personal secretary of Valerian V. Kuibyshev, Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Economy, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, and an intimate friend and co-worker of Stalin.

Yenukidze informed Maximov that "whereas formerly the Rights calculated that the Soviet Government could be overthrown by organizing certain of the more anti-Soviet minded strata of the population, and in particular the kulaks, now the situation had changed... and it is necessary to proceed to more active methods of seizing power." Yenukidze described the new tactics of the conspiracy. In agreement with the Trotskyites, he said, the Rights had adopted a decision to eliminate a number of their political opponents by terrorist means. This was to be done by "ruining the health of the leaders." This method, said Yenukidze, was "the most convenient because of the fact that on the surface it would appear in the nature of an unfortunate issue to an illness and thereby make it possible for this terrorist activity of the Rights to be camouflaged."

"Preparations for it have already begun," Yenukidze added. He told Maxiniov that Yagoda was behind all this, and the conspirators had his protection. Maximov, as Kuibyshev's secretary, was to be used in connection with the assassination of the Chairman of the National Supreme Economic Council. Kuibyshev suffered from a serious heart condition, and the conspirators planned to take advantage of it.

Maximov, startled at this assignment, showed some signs of hesitation.

A few days later, Maximov was again called to Yenukidze's office. This time, while the assassination of Kuibyshev was discussed in more detail, a third man sat in a corner of the room. He did not utter a word during the entire conversation; but the implication of his presence was not lost on Maximov. The man was Henry Yagoda....

"what is demanded of you," Yenukidze told Maximov, "is, first, to give them [Yagoda's physicians] the opportunity of being unhindered so that they can be in frequent attendance on the patient, so that there should be no hitch in their so-called visits to the patient; and, secondly, in the event of acute illness, attacks of any kind, not to hurry in calling in the doctor, and if it is necessary, to call in only those doctors who are treating him."

Toward the fall of 1934 Kuibyshev's health suddenly took a sharp turn for the worse. He suffered intensely, and could do little work.

Dr. Levin later described the technique which, on Yagoda's instructions, he employed to bring about Kuibyshev's illness: -

The vulnerable spot in his organism was his heart, and it was this at which we struck. We knew that his heart had been in a poor condition over a considerable period of time. He suffered from an affection of the cardiac vessels, myocarditis, and he had slight attacks of angina pectoris. In such cases, it is necessary to spare the heart, to avoid potent heart stimulants, which would excessively stimulate the activity of the Heart and gradually lead to its further weakening.... In the case of Kuibyshev we administered stimulants for the heart without intervals, over a protracted period, up to the time he made his trip to Central Asia. Beginning with August, until September or October 1934, he was given injections without a break, of special endocrine gland extracts and other heart stimulants. This intensified and brought on more frequent attacks of angina pectoris.

At two o'clock on the afternoon of January 25, 1935, Kuibyshev suffered a severe heart attack in his office at the Council of People's Commissars in Moscow. Maximov, who was with Kuibyshev at the time, had previously been told by Dr. Levin that in the event of such an attack the correct thing for Kuibyshev to do was to lie down and remain absolutely quiet. Maximov was told that his job was to see that Kuibyshev did exactly the opposite. He persuaded the desperately ill man to walk home.

Ghastly pale and moving with extreme difficulty, Kuibyshev left his office. Maximov promptly called Yenukidze and told him what had happened. The Right leader instructed Maximov to keep calm and not to call any doctors.

Kuibyshev painfully made his way home from the building of the Council of People's Commissars to the house where lie lived. Slowly and with increasing agony, he climbed the stairs to his apartment on the third floor. His maid met him at the door, took one look at him and immediately telephoned his office that he was in urgent need of medical attention.

By the time the doctors arrived at the house, Valerian Kuibyshev was dead.

4. "Historical Necessity"

The most brutal of all the murders carried out under Yagoda's supervision were those of Maxim Gorky and his son, Peshkov. Gorky was sixty-eight years old at the time of his murder. He was known and revered throughout the world not only as Russia's greatest living writer but also as one of the world's outstanding humanists. He suffered from tuberculosis and a bad heart condition. His son Peshkov had inherited an extreme susceptibility to respiratory infections. Both Gorky and his son were patients of Dr. Levin.

The murders of Gorky and his son, Peshkov, were carried out by Yagoda following a unanimous decision of the upper leaders of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites. In 1934 Yagoda communicated this decision to Dr. Levin and ordered him to carry it out.

"Gorky is a man who is very close to the highest leadership," Yagoda told Dr. Levin, "a man very much devoted to the policy which is being carried out in the country, very devoted personally to Stalin, a man who will never tread our road. Then again, you know what authority Gorky's words have both in our country and far beyond its borders. You are aware of the influence he enjoys and how much harm he can cause our movement by his words. You must agree to undertake this and you will reap the fruits of it when the new government comes to power."

When Dr. Levin showed some perturbation at these instructions, Yagoda went on: "There is no need for you to be so upset, you should understand that this is inevitable, that this is a historical moment, that it is a historical necessity, a stage of the revolution through which we must pass, and you will pass through it with us, you will be a witness of it, and you must help us with the means you have at your disposal."(2)

Peshkov was murdered before his father.

Dr. Levin later said: - There were three systems in his organism which could very easily be taken advantage of: they were the exceptionally excitable cardiac-vascular system, his respiratory organs, inherited from his father, not in the sense of suffering from tuberculosis, but in the sense of weakness, and finally the vegetative nervous system. Even a small quantity of wine affected his organism, whereas, despite this, he drank wine in large quantities....

Dr. Levin worked methodically on the weaknesses in Peshkov's "organism."

In the middle of April 1934, Peshkov caught a serious chill. Croupous pneumonia set in.

When it seemed that Peshkov might recover, Yagoda was furious. "Damn it all," he exclaimed, "they are able to kill healthy people by their treatment, and here they cannot do the trick on a sick man!"

But finally Dr. Levin's efforts achieved the desired results. As he himself later reported: -

The patient was very much enfeebled; his heart was in an abominable condition; the nervous system, as we know, plays a tremendous role during infectious diseases. He was altogether overwrought, altogether weakened and the ailment took an exceptionally grave turn.

... The progress of the sickness was aggravated by the fact that the medicines capable of bringing great benefit to the heart were eliminated, while, on the contrary, those that weakened the heart were applied. And finally... on May 11 he died of pneumonia.

Maxim Gorky was murdered by similar methods. During 1935, Gorky's frequent trips away from Moscow, which took him out of Dr. Levin's hands, temporarily saved his life. Then, early in 1936, came the opportunity for which Dr. Levin was waiting. Gorky contracted a serious case of grippe in Moscow. Dr. Levin deliberately aggravated Gorky's condition, and, as in Peshkov's case, croupous pneumonia set in. Once again, Dr. Levin murdered his patient: -

As regards Alexei Maximovich Gorky, the line was as follows: to use such medicines, which were in general indicated, against which no doubt or suspicion could arise and which could be used to stimulate the activity of the heart. Among such medicines were camphor, caffeine, cardiosol, digalen. We have the right to apply these medicines for a group of cardiac diseases. But in his case they were administered in tremendous doses. Thus, for example, he received as many as forty injections of camphor... in twenty-four hours. This dose was too heavy for him.... Plus two injections of digalen.... Plus four injections of caffeine.... Plus two injections of strychnine.

On June 18, 1936, the great Soviet writer died.

Notes:
1. On December 23, 1943, Dr. Henry E. Sigerist, Professor of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and outstanding American authority on medical history, wrote the authors of this book regarding Dr. Ignaty N. Kazakov: -

"I spent a whole day with Professor Ignaty N. Kazakov at his clinic in 1935. He was a big man with a wild mane who looked more like an artist than a scientist and who reminded you of an opera singer. Talking to him, he gave you the impression that he was either a genius or a crook. He claimed to have discovered a new method of treatment which he called lystotherapy satotherapy but refused to disclose how he was preparing the lystes with which he treated a great variety of patients. He motivated his refusal with the argument that the method might be discredited if it were used carelessly or uncritically by others before it had been fully tested. The Soviet health authorities took a most liberal attitude and gave him all possible clinical and laboratory facilities to test and develop his method.

"Professor Kazakov expected my visit and the day I came he had invited a large number of his former patients in order to demonstrate them to me.... It was a regular circus and made a very bad impression. I had seen miracle cures performed by quacks in other countries... A few years later it was evident that his method was no good and that hewas not only a crook but a criminal."

2. Despite his age, Gorky was hated and feared by the Trotskyites. Sergei Bessonov, the Trotskyite courier, related that as early as July 1934, Leon Trotsky told him: "Gorky is very intimate with Stalin. He plays an exceptional role in winning sympathy for the USSR among the democratic opinion of the world and especially of Western Europe.... Our former supporters among the intelligentsia are leaving us very largely under the influence of Gorky. From this I draw the conclusion that Gorky must be put out of the way. Convey this instruction to Pyatakov in the most categorical form; corky must be physically exterminated at all costs."

The fascist Russian emigre's and terrorists, who were working with the Nazis, had also placed Gorky on the list of those Soviet leaders they planned to assassinate. The November 1, 1934, issue of Za Rossiyu, the organ of the fascist Russian National League of New Regeneration, published in Belgrade, Yugoslovia, declared: "Kirov in Leningrad must be removed. We must also do away with Kossior and Postyshev in the South of Russia. Brothers, fascists, if you can't get to Stalin, kill Gorky, kill the poet Demiyan Bieni, kill Kaganovich..

Yagoda's motive in murdering Gorky's son, Peshkov, was not only political. Previous to the murder, Yagoda told one of the conspirators that Peshkov's death would be a "heavy blow" to Gorkv and would turn him into a "harmless old man." But at his trial in 1938, Yagoda asked permission of the court to refrain from publicly revealing his reasons for having Peshkov killed. Yagoda asked that he be allowed to give this testimony at one of the in camera sessions. The court granted his wish. Ambassador Davies, in his book Mission to Moscow, gives this possible explanation for Peshkov's murder: "Beneath it runs the tale that Yagoda... was infatuated with young Gorky's beautiful wife.. ,."

CHAPTER XVIII Murder in the Kremlin l. Yagoda IN May 1934, six months before the assassination of Sergei Kirov, a heart attack caused the death of Vyacheslav R. Menzhinsky, the long-ailing Chairman of the OGPU. His post was filled by the forty-three-year-old OGPU Vice-Chairman, Henry G. Yagoda, a short, quiet, efficient-looking than with a receding chin and a trim little mustache. Henry Yagoda was a secret member of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. He had joined the conspiracy in 1929, as a member of the Right Opposition, not because he believed in Bukharin's or Trotsky's program, but because he thought the oppositionists were destined to come to power in Russia. Yagoda wanted to be on the winning side. In his own words: - I followed the course of the struggle with great attention, having made up my mind beforehand that I would join the side which emerged victorious from this struggle.... When measures of repression began to be taken against the Trotskyites, the question as to who would come out the victor - the Trotskyites or the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - was as yet not finally settled. In any event, that was what I thought. Therefore I, as Assistant Chairman of the OGPU, in carrying out the punitive policy, did it in such a way that it would not arouse the anger of the Trotskyites against me. When I was sending Trotskyites into exile, I created for them such conditions in their places of exile as enabled them to carry on their activity. Yagoda's role in the conspiracy was at first known only to the three top leaders of the Rights: Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky. In 1932, when the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites was formed, Yagoda's role became known to Pyatakov and Krestinsky. As Vice-Chairman of the OGPU, Yagoda was able to protect the conspirators from exposure and arrest. "I tool: all measures, in the course of a number of years," he later stated, "to guard the organization, particularly its center, against exposure." Pagoda appointed members of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites as special agents in the OGPU. In this way, a number of agents of foreign Intelligence Services were ere able to penetrate the Soviet secret police and, under Yagoda's protection, carry on espionage activities for their respective governments. The German agents, Pauker and Volovich, whom Yagoda sent to effect the arrest of Zinoviev and Kamenev were appointed to their OGPU positions by Pagoda himself. "I considered them," Pagoda said later, referring to the foreign spies, "as a valuable force. in the realization of the conspiratorial plans, particularly along the lines of maintaining connections with foreign Intelligence Services." In 1933, Ivan Smirnov, the leading organizer of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, was unexpectedly arrested by Soviet Government agents. Yagoda could not prevent the arrest. On pretext of examining the prisoner, Yagoda visited Smirnov in his cell and "coached him" on how to behave under questioning. In 1934, before the murder of Kirov, the terrorist Leonid Nikolayev was picked up by OGPU agents in Leningrad. In his possession they found a gun. and a chart showing the route which Kirov traveled daily. When Yagoda was notified of Nikolayev's arrest, he instructed Zaporozhetz, assistant chief of the Leningrad OGPU, to release the terrorist without further examination. Zaporozhetz was one of Yagoda's men. He did what he was told. A few weeks later, Nikolayev murdered Kirov. But the Murder of Kirov was only one of a number of murders carried out by the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites with the direct aid of Henry Yagoda.... Behind his quiet, efficient exterior, Yagoda concealed an inordinate ambition, ferocity and cunning. With the secret operations of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites depending more and more on his protection, the Vice-Chairman of the OGPU began to conceive of himself as the central figure and dominating personality of the entire conspiracy. Yagoda had dreams of becoming Russia's Hitler. He read Mein Kampf. "It is a worthwhile book," he confided to his devoted henchman and secretary, Pavel Bulanov. lie was particularly impressed, he told Bulanov, by the fact that Hitler had "risen from a top sergeant to be the than he is." Yagoda himself had started his career as a top sergeant in the Russian Army. Yagoda had his own ideas about the kind of government which Would be set up after Stalin was overthrown. It would be modeled on that of Nazi Germany, he told Bulanov. Yagoda himself would be the Leader; Rykov would replace Stalin as secretary of a reorganized Party; Tomsky would be chief of the trade-unions, which would come under strict military control like the Nazi labor battalions; the "philosopher" Bukharin, as Yagoda put it, would be "Dr. Goebbels." As for Trotsky, Yagoda was not sure if he would permit Trotsky to return to Russia. It would depend on circumstances. Meanwhile, however, Yagoda was prepared to make use of Trotsky's negotiations with Germany and Japan. The coup d'état, said Yagoda, must be timed to coincide with the outbreak of war against the Soviet Union. "All means will be required for the achievement of this coup -armed action, provocation and even poisons," Yagoda told Bulanov. "There are times when one must act slowly and extremely cautiously, and there are times when one must act quickly and suddenly." The decision of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites to adopt terrorism as a political Weapon against the Soviet regime had Yagoda's endorsement. The decision was communicated to him by Y. S. Yenukidze, a former soldier and official of the Kremlin secretariat, who was the chief organizer of terrorism for the Rights. Yagoda had only one objection. The terrorist methods employed by the conspirators seemed to him too primitive and dangerous. Yagoda set out to devise a more subtle means of political murder than the traditional assassin's bombs, knives or bullets. At first, Yagoda experimented with poisons. He set up a secret laboratory and put several chemists to work. His aim was to contrive a method of killing which made exposure impossible. "Murder with a guarantee," was the way Yagoda put it. But even poisons were too crude. Before long, Yagoda developed his own special technique of murder. He recommended it as a perfect weapon to the leaders of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. "It is very simple," said Yagoda. "A person naturally falls ill, or he has been ill for some time. Those who surround him become accustomed, as is also natural, to the idea that the patient will either die or recuperate. The physician who treats the patient has the will to facilitate the patient's recovery or his death.... Well? All the rest is a matter of technique." One had only to find the right physicians. 2. The Murder of Menzhinsky The first physician Yagoda involved in his unique murder scheme was Dr. Leo Levin, a corpulent, middle-aged, obsequious man, who liked to boast of his disinterest in political affairs. Dr. Levin was Yagoda's own physician. More important to Yagoda was the fact that Dr. Levin Was a prominent member of the Kremlin Medical Staff. Among his regular patients were a number of prominent Soviet leaders, including Yagoda's superior, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, the Chairman of the OGPU. Yagoda began showering special favors on Dr. Levin. He sent him imported wines, flowers for his wife and various other gifts. He placed a country home, free of charge, at the doctor's disposal. When Dr. Levin traveled abroad, Yagoda permitted him to bring back foreign purchases without paying the regular customs duty. The physician was flattered and a bit puzzled at these unusual attentions from his influential patient. Soon, under Yagoda's manipulations, the unsuspecting Dr. Levin had accepted what amounted to a number of bribes and had committed some minor infractions of Soviet laws. Then Yagoda came bluntly to the point. He told Dr. Levin that a secret opposition movement, of which he himself was one of the leaders, was about to come to power in the Soviet Union. The conspirators, said Yagoda, could make good use of Dr. Levin's services. Certain Soviet leaders, among theta some of Dr. Levin's patients, had to be put out of the way. "Have in mind," Yagoda told the terrified doctor, "that you cannot help obeying tae, you cannot get away from nic. Once I place confidence in you with regard to this thing, you must appreciate this and you must carry this out. You cannot tell anybody about it. Nobody will believe you. They will believe not you, but tae." Yagoda added: "Let us now drop this conversation; you think it over at home, and I shall call you in a few days." Dr. Levin subsequently described his reaction to Yagoda's words. He stated: - I do not have to convey the psychological reaction, how terrible it was for me to hear this. I think that this is sufficiently understood. And then the ceaseless mental anguish. ... He further said: "You are aware who is talking to you, the head of what institution is talking to you!"... He reiterated that my refusal to carry this out would spell ruin for me and my family. I figured that I had no other way out, that I had to submit to him. Dr. Levin helped Yagoda to enlist the services of another physician who also frequently treated Menzhinsky. This physician was Di. Ignaty N. Kazakov, whose distinctly unorthodox therapeutic methods were the cause of some heated controversy in Soviet medical circles during the early 1930's. Dr. Kazakov claimed to have discovered an almost infallible cure for a wide range of illnesses by means of a special technique which he called "lysatotherapy." The OGPU Chairman Menzhinsky who suffered from angina pectoris and bronchial asthma had great faith in Kazakov's treatments and took them regularly.(1) On Yagoda's instructions, Dr. Levin went to see Dr. Kazakov. Dr. Levin said to him: "Menzhinsky is a living corpse. You're really wasting your time." Dr. Kazakov looked at his colleague in astonishment. "I'll have to have a special talk With you," said Dr. Levin. "About what?" asked Dr. Kazakov. "About Menzhinsky's health.".. , Later, Dr. Levin came to the point. "I thought you were cleverer. You still haven't understood me," lie told Kazakov. "I'm surprised you've undertaken Menzhinsky's treatment with so touch zeal and you have ever improved his health. You should never have allowed hint to get back to work." Then, to Dr. Kasakov's mounting amazement and horror, Dr. Levin went on: - "You must realize that Menzhinsky is actually a corpse, and, by restoring his health, by allowing him to get back to work, You are antagonizing Yagoda. Menzhinsky is in Yagoda's way and Yagoda is interested in getting him out of the way as soon as possible. Yagoda is a man who doesn't stop at anything." Dr. Levin added: - "Not a word of this to Menzhinsky! I am warning you that, if you tell Menzhinsky about it, Yagoda will destroy you. You'll not escape him no matter where you hide yourself. He would get you even if you were underground." On the afternoon of November 6, 1933, Dr. Kazakov received an urgent call from Menzhinsky's home. When Dr. Kazakov arrived at the home of the OGPU Chairman, he was met by a heavy, stifling odor of turpentine and paint. Within a few minutes he found himself gasping for breath. One of Menzhinsky's secretaries informed him that the house had been freshly painted and that "a special substance" had been added to the paint to "make the paint dry more quickly." It was this "special substance" which caused the pungent, overwhelming odor. Dr. Kazakov went upstairs. He found Nlenzhinsky in great agony. His bronchial condition had been terribly aggravated by the fumes. He was sitting in a cramped, awkward position, his face and body swollen, barely able to whisper. Dr. Kazakov listened to his. breathing. It was labored and rasping, with greatly prolonged exhalation, characteristic of a serious attack of bronchial asthma. Dr. Kazakov immediately gave Menzhinsky an injection to relieve his condition. He then flung open all the windows in the room and ordered Menzhinskv's secretary to open all doors and windows throughout the house. Gradually the odor died away. Dr. Kazakov staved with Menzhinsky until his patient was feeling better. When the attack had passed, Dr. Kazakov went home. He had scarcely entered his house when the telephone rang. It was a call from OGPU headquarters. Dr. Kazakov was informed that Henry Yagoda wished to see him at once. A car was already on its way to pick up Dr. Kazakov and bring him to Yagoda's office.... "Well, how do you find Menzhinskv's health?" was the first thing Yagoda said when he and Dr. Kazakov were alone in his office. The short, neat, dark Vice-Chairman of the OGPU was sitting behind his desk, coldly watching Dr. Kazakov's expression. Dr. Kazakov replied that with the sudden renewal of the asthmatic attacks, Menzhinskv's condition was serious. Yagoda was silent for a moment. "Have you spoken to Levin?" "Yes, I have," replied Dr. Kazakov. Yagoda abruptly rose from his seat and began pacing back and forth in front of his desk. Suddenly, he whirled on Dr. Kazakov, furiously exclaiming, "In that case, why are you fiddling about? Why don't you act? Who asked you to butt into somebody else's affairs?" "What do you want of me?" asked Dr. Kazakov. "Who asked you to give medical aid to Menzhinsky?" said Yagoda. "You're fussing with him to no purpose. His life is of no use to anybody. He's in everybody's way. I order you to work out with Levin a method of treatment whereby it will be possible to bring about a quick end to Menzhinsky's life!" After a pause, Yagoda added: "I warn you, Kazakov, if you make any attempt to disobey me I'll find means of getting rid of you! You'll never escape me...." For Dr. Kazakov, the days that followed were full of terror, fear and nightmarish events. He went about his work in a daze. Should he or should he not report what he knew to the Soviet authorities? To whom could he speak? How could he be sure that he was not talking to one of Yagoda's spies? Dr. Levin, who saw him frequently during this period, told Kazakov of the existence of a vast undercover conspiracy against the Soviet Government. Famous, powerful state officials like Yagoda, Rykov and Pyatakov were in the conspiracy; brilliant writers and philosophers like Karl Radek and Bukharin had joined it; men in the army were secretly behind it. If he, Dr. Kazakov, performed some , valuable service for Yagoda now, Yagoda would remember it when he came to power. There was a secret war going on within the Soviet Union, and doctors, like other people, had to choose sides.... Dr. Kazakov succumbed. He told Levin that he would carry out Yagoda's orders. Here, in Dr. Kazakov's own words, is the technique he and Dr. Levin used for the assassination of the Chairman of the OGPU, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky - I met Levin and together with him worked out a method which consisted of the following. We took advantage of two main properties of albumen and albumenous products. First: the products of the hydrolytic decomposition of albumen possess the property of stimulating the effect of medicines. Second: lysatcs increase the sensitivity of the organism. These two properties were taken advantage of. Thirdly, advantage was taken of the peculiarities of Menzhinsky's organism, of the combination of bronchial asthma and angina pectoris. It is a well-known fact that in a case of bronchial asthma the so-called parasympathetic section of the vegetative nervous system is excited. Therefore, in cases of bronchial asthma, substances are prescribed which excite the corresponding section, that is to say, the sympathetic the thyroid gland. Such a preparation is the extract of the suprarenal gland, a preparation of the medulla stratum. In case of angina pectoris it is just the sympathetic section which starts from the sub-jugular plexus of the sympathetic ganglion that is excited. That was the fine point which was taken advantage of.... Gradually, one set of preparations was introduced, while another was put aside.... It was necessary to introduce a number of heart stimulants - digitalis, adonis, atrophanthus - which stimulated the activity of the heart. These medicines were administered in the following order. First, lysates were administered; then there was an interval in the treatment with lystes: then heart stimulants were administered. As a result of this sort of treatment, a thorough weakening was brought about.... On the night of May 10, 1934, Menzhinsky died. The man who took his place as chief of the OGPU was Henry Yagoda. "I deny that in causing the death of Menzhinsky I was guided by motives of a personal nature," Yagoda later stated. "I aspired to the post of head of the OGPU, not out elf personal considera-tion, but in the interests of our conspiratorial organization." 3. Murder with a Guarantee The murder list of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites included the following top Soviet leaders: Stalin, Voroshilov, Kirov, Menzhinsky, Molotov, Kuibyshev, Kaganovich, Gorky and Zhdanov. These men were well guarded. The Soviet Government had long, bitter experience in dealing with terrorists, and few chances were taken. Yagoda knew this very well. When the Right terrorist organizer, Yenukidze, communicated to him the decision of the Trotskyite-Zinovicvitc Terrorist Center to commit a public assassination of Sergei Kirov, Pagoda at first objected. As l Yagoda put it: - I expressed my apprehension that a direct terrorist act might expose not only myself, but the whole organization as well. I pointed out to Yenukidze that there was a less dangerous method and I reminded him Yenukidze, how Menzhinsky's death was brought about with the the help of physicians. Yenukidze replied that the assassination of Kirov must be carried out the way it was planned, that the Trotskyites and Zinovievites took it upon themselves to commit this murder, and that it was our business not to place any obstacles. As for the safe method of causing death with the help of physicians, Yenukidze said that in the near future the center would discuss the question as to who exactly of the leaders of the Party and Government should be the first to be done to death by this method. One day, towards the end of August 1934, a young secret member of the Right Opposition was summoned to Yenukidze's Kremlin office. His name was Venyamin A. Maximov. In 1928, as a student, Maximov had attended the special "Marxist School" which Bukharin then headed in Moscow. Bukharin had recruited him into the conspiracy. A clever, unscrupulous youth, Maximov had been carefully trained by the Right leaders and, after his graduation, placed in various secretarial posts. At the tune he was summoned to Yenukidze's office, Maximov was the personal secretary of Valerian V. Kuibyshev, Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Economy, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, and an intimate friend and co-worker of Stalin. Yenukidze informed Maximov that "whereas formerly the Rights calculated that the Soviet Government could be overthrown by organizing certain of the more anti-Soviet minded strata of the population, and in particular the kulaks, now the situation had changed... and it is necessary to proceed to more active methods of seizing power." Yenukidze described the new tactics of the conspiracy. In agreement with the Trotskyites, he said, the Rights had adopted a decision to eliminate a number of their political opponents by terrorist means. This was to be done by "ruining the health of the leaders." This method, said Yenukidze, was "the most convenient because of the fact that on the surface it would appear in the nature of an unfortunate issue to an illness and thereby make it possible for this terrorist activity of the Rights to be camouflaged." "Preparations for it have already begun," Yenukidze added. He told Maxiniov that Yagoda was behind all this, and the conspirators had his protection. Maximov, as Kuibyshev's secretary, was to be used in connection with the assassination of the Chairman of the National Supreme Economic Council. Kuibyshev suffered from a serious heart condition, and the conspirators planned to take advantage of it. Maximov, startled at this assignment, showed some signs of hesitation. A few days later, Maximov was again called to Yenukidze's office. This time, while the assassination of Kuibyshev was discussed in more detail, a third man sat in a corner of the room. He did not utter a word during the entire conversation; but the implication of his presence was not lost on Maximov. The man was Henry Yagoda.... "what is demanded of you," Yenukidze told Maximov, "is, first, to give them [Yagoda's physicians] the opportunity of being unhindered so that they can be in frequent attendance on the patient, so that there should be no hitch in their so-called visits to the patient; and, secondly, in the event of acute illness, attacks of any kind, not to hurry in calling in the doctor, and if it is necessary, to call in only those doctors who are treating him." Toward the fall of 1934 Kuibyshev's health suddenly tool: a sharp turn for the worse. He suffered intensely, and could do little work. Dr. Levin later described the technique which, on Yagoda's instructions, he employed to bring about Kuibyshev's illness: - The vulnerable spot in his organism was his heart, and it was this at which we struck. We knew that his heart had been in a poor condition over a considerable period of time. He suffered from an affection of the cardiac vessels, myocarditis, and he had slight attacks of angina pectoris. In such cases, it is necessary to spare the heart, to avoid potent heart stimulants, which would excessively stimulate the activity of the Heart and gradually lead to its further weakening.... In the case of Kuibyshev we administered stimulants for the heart without intervals, over a protracted period, up to the time he made his trip to Central Asia. Beginning with August, until September or October 1934, he was given injections without a break, of special endocrine gland extracts and other heart stimulants. This intensified and brought on more frequent attacks of angina pectoris. At two o'clock on the afternoon of January 25, 1935, Kuibyshev suffered a severe heart attack in his office at the Council of People's Commissars in Moscow. Maximov, who was with Kuibyshev at the time, had previously been told by Dr. Levin that in the event of such an attack the correct thing for Kuibyshev to do was to lie down and remain absolutely quiet. Maximov was told that his job was to see that Kuibyshev did exactly the opposite. He persuaded the desperately ill man to walk home. Ghastly pale and moving with extreme difficulty, Kuibyshev left his office. Maximov promptly called Yenukidze and told him what had happened. The Right leader instructed Maximov to keep calm and not to call any doctors. Kuibyshev painfully made his way home from the building of the Council of People's Commissars to the house where lie lived. Slowly and with increasing agony, he climbed the stairs to his apartment on the third floor. His maid met him at the door, took one look at him and immediately telephoned his office that he was in urgent need of medical attention. By the time the doctors arrived at the house, Valerian Kuibyshev was dead. 4. "Historical Necessity" The most brutal of all the murders carried out under Yagoda's supervision were those of Maxim Gorky and his son, Peshkov. Gorky was sixty-eight years old at the time of his murder. He was known and revered throughout the world not only as Russia's greatest living writer but also as one of the world's outstanding humanists. He suffered from tuberculosis and a bad heart condition. His son Peshkov had inherited an extreme susceptibility to respiratory infections. Both Gorky and his son were patients of Dr. Levin. The murders of Gorky and his son, Peshkov, were carried out by Yagoda following a unanimous decision of the upper leaders of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites. In 1934 Yagoda communicated this decision to Dr. Levin and ordered him to carry it out. "Gorky is a man who is very close to the highest leadership," Yagoda told Dr. Levin, "a man very much devoted to the policy which is being carried out in the country, very devoted personally to Stalin, a man who will never tread our road. Then again, you know what authority Gorky's words have both in our country and far beyond its borders. You are aware of the influence he enjoys and how much harm he can cause our movement by his words. You must agree to undertake this and you will reap the fruits of it when the new government comes to power." When Dr. Levin showed some perturbation at these instructions, Yagoda went on: "There is no need for you to be so upset, you should understand that this is inevitable, that this is a historical moment, that it is a historical necessity, a stage of the revolution through which we must pass, and you will pass through it with us, you will be a witness of it, and you must help us with the means you have at your disposal."(2) Peshkov was murdered before his father. Dr. Levin later said: - There were three systems in his organism which could very easily be taken advantage of: they were the exceptionally excitable cardiac-vascular system, his respiratory organs, inherited from his father, not in the sense of suffering from tuberculosis, but in the sense of weakness, and finally the vegetative nervous system. Even a small quantity of wine affected his organism, whereas, despite this, he drank wine in large quantities.... Dr. Levin worked methodically on the weaknesses in Peshkov's "organism." In the middle of April 1934, Peshkov caught a serious chill. Croupous pneumonia set in. When it seemed that Peshkov might recover, Yagoda was furious. "Damn it all," he exclaimed, "they are able to kill healthy people by their treatment, and here they cannot do the trick on a sick man!" But finally Dr. Levin's efforts achieved the desired results. As he himself later reported: - The patient was very much enfeebled; his heart was in an abominable condition; the nervous system, as we know, plays a tremendous role during infectious diseases. He was altogether overwrought, altogether weakened and the ailment took an exceptionally grave turn. ... The progress of the sickness was aggravated by the fact that the medicines capable of bringing great benefit to the heart were eliminated, while, on the contrary, those that weakened the heart were applied. And finally... on May 11 he died of pneumonia. Maxim Gorky was murdered by similar methods. During 1935, Gorky's frequent trips away from Moscow, which took him out of Dr. Levin's hands, temporarily saved his life. Then, early in 1936, came the opportunity for which Dr. Levin was waiting. Gorky contracted a serious case of grippe in Moscow. Dr. Levin deliberately aggravated Gorky's condition, and, as in Peshkov's case, croupous pneumonia set in. Once again, Dr. Levin murdered his patient: - As regards Alexei Maximovich Gorky, the line was as follows: to use such medicines, which were in general indicated, against which no doubt or suspicion could arise and which could be used to stimulate the activity of the heart. Among such medicines were camphor, caffeine, cardiosol, digalen. We have the right to apply these medicines for a group of cardiac diseases. But in his case they were administered in tremendous doses. Thus, for example, he received as many as forty injections of camphor... in twenty-four hours. This dose was too heavy for him.... Plus two injections of digalen.... Plus four injections of caffeine.... Plus two injections of strychnine. On June 18, 1936, the great Soviet writer died. 1. On December 23, 1943, Dr. Henry E. Sigerist, Professor of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and outstanding American authority on medical history, wrote the authors of this book regarding Dr. Ignaty N. Kazakov: - "I spent a whole day with Professor Ignaty N. Kazakov at his clinic in 1935. He was a big man with a wild mane who looked more like an artist than a scientist and who reminded you of an opera singer. Talking to him, he gave you the impression that lie was either a genius or a crook. He claimed to have discovered a new method of treatment which he called lystotherapy satotherapy but refused to disclose how he was preparing the lystes with which he treated a great variety of patients. He motivated his refusal with the argument that the method might be discredited if it were used carelessly or uncritically by others before it had been fully tested. The Soviet health authorities tool: a most liberal attitude and gave him all possible clinical and laboratory facilities to test and develop his method. "Professor Kazakov expected my visit and the day I carne he had invited a large number of his former patients in order to demonstrate them to ate.... It was a regular circus and made a very bad impression. I had seen miracle cures performed by quacks in other countries... A few years later it was evident that his method was no good and that lie was not only a crook but a criminal." 2. Despite his age, Gorky was hated and feared by the Trotskyites. Sergei Bessonov, the Trotskyite courier, related that as carly as July 1934, Leon Trotsky told him: "corky is very intimate with Stalin. He plays an exceptional role in winning sympathy for the USSR among the democratic opinion of the world and especially of Western Europe.... Our former supporters among the intelligentsia are leaving us very largely under the influence of Gorky. From this I draw the conclusion that Gorky must be put cut of the way. Convey this instruction to Pyatakov in the most categorical form; corky must be physically exterminated at all costs." The fascist Russian emigre's and terrorists, who were working with the Nazis, had also placed corky on the list of those Soviet leaders they planned to assassinate. The November 1, 1934, issue of Za Rossiyu, the organ of the fascist Russian National League of New Regeneration, published in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, declared: "Kirov in Leningrad must be removed. We must also do away with Kossior and Postyshev in the South of Russia. Brothers, fascists, if you can't get to Stalin, kill Gorky, kill the poet Demiyan Bieni, kill Kaganovich.. Yagoda's motive in murdering Gorky's son, Peshkov, was not only political. Previous to the murder, Yagoda told one of the conspirators that Peshkov's death would be a "heavy blow" to Gorkv and would turn him into a "harmless old man." But at his trial in 1938, Yagoda asked permission of the court to refrain from publicly revealing his reasons for having Peshkov killed. Yagoda asked that he be allowed to give this testimony at one of the in camera sessions. The court granted his wish. Ambassador Davies, in his book Mission to Moscow, gives this possible explanation for Peshkov's murder: "Beneath it runs the tale that Yagoda... was infatuated with young Gorky's beautiful wife.. ,."

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